Thorvald Hansen


emigrants, family, business


When the Mathiasens, Karl and his father, left Thisted, on Denmark's northeast Jutland peninsula, for America in 1872, the intention of the elder Mathiasen was to go to Michigan where he had a sister living. When they arrived in New York the father totaled up the funds he had and discovered that the trip thus far had cost more than he expected. He lacked ten dollars of having enough to travel farther west. On the advice of a kindly Dane they walked the few miles to Perth Amboy, New Jersey where they were told they could probably find work. It was this unexpected and unpleasant change of plans that eventually resulted in Karl Mathiasen, who was then but a twelve-year-old boy, becoming, as an adult, a leading industrialist on the east coast.